6 Fun Games to Play as a Babysitter

By Alicia Geigel on June 2, 2021

When I was a babysitter for my next-door neighbor’s children, I was always looking for ways to keep the kids entertained, stimulated, and happy. Though I started over 10 years ago and those ‘kids’ are now grown, young women, I still remember the fun games and activities we would play together.

As a babysitter, you want to do the best for the children you are watching and the best by the parents of those children. This means giving them healthy food and snacks, teaching them small bits of advice, engaging with them on an age-appropriate level, and of course, having fun by playing games and doing activities! Playing games with the children you babysit is a great way to get to know and learn more about them while keeping their home space both comfortable and exciting while their parents are gone. Of course, children don’t always want to play games, and sometimes it’s more suitable to pop in a movie, but when they are feeling energized, it’s good to be prepared with a few fun games up your sleeve.

Are you currently a babysitter? Looking for ideas on some fun games to play with the children you babysit? Here are six fun game ideas to get you started!

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1. Hide and Go Seek: Who doesn’t love a classic game of Hide and Go Seek? As a kid, I remember the pure excitement of having to quickly find the best hiding spot before the seeker could catch me. Each person can take turns both hiding and seeking so everyone gets a fair chance to play, and you can establish which places are on/off limits to hide in to ensure the utmost safety of the kids. Hide and Go Seek is a fun game to play as a babysitter and it truly never gets old!

2. I Spy: When picking a game for the kids you are babysitting to play, you want to pick something that is engaging and fun, and I Spy is both! You can set certain rules or limitations to the game based on the age of the children and watch them get creative. Another great thing about I Spy is you can play it both indoors and outdoors, so it’s great to play outside when the weather is nice or inside on a rainy day. Simply pick something to search for, such as an item that is pink or any color, and have fun. Additionally, you can bring over an I Spy book for even more of a challenge!

3. Puzzles/Board Games: You can never go wrong with puzzles and board games. The options are endless! Puzzles are a great way to calm kids down if they are a little rambunctious, while also getting them to think critically about where each puzzle piece goes. Consider asking the kids about their interests, such as what animated character they love, what their favorite animal is, etc., and get a puzzle that has a favorite on it. This will make them excited and eager to complete it with you! Additionally, board games are another great option to play. A blog post by Urban Sitter notes, “When children have access to new activities, they may be more engaged and excited about participating.”

4. Outdoor Games (I.e. Tag, Duck-Duck-Goose): Outdoor games are a great way to engage with kids, especially if they have a lot of energy! Spending time outside gives them a chance to disconnect from the TV or tablet and enjoy time in the sun with nature. There are so many different games you can play outside, but some of the classics are tag or duck-duck-goose. You can also give the kids free range to make up a game if they want to! Being outside is so stimulating and can give them countless ideas on different games to play. When I was younger, I loved making “soup” by collecting branches, leaves, rocks, sand, flowers, etc., and playing house! The simplest of games sometimes end up being the most fun and memorable so have fun being creative and channeling your inner child!

5. Charades: Charades are another great way for kids to be creative! Everyone can play individually or you can make teams if you have enough people. Rachel Murphy of Care.com suggests, “Grab a pen and paper and write down a few kid-friendly topics, like popular movies, cartoons and TV shows. Cut the paper into pieces and place it in a bowl. Have one team member select a topic to act out while the other team member takes a few guesses.” You can also assign one of the kids with a timekeeper or scorekeeper role!

6. Freeze Dance: Freeze dance is a great opportunity for both you and the kids to let loose and have fun! Play some kid-friendly songs, some of their favorites, and dance around. Then, randomly pause the song and have everyone freeze in the exact position until the music plays again! It’s fun, it’s silly, and it will get everyone laughing.

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When it comes to babysitting, there are so many different games to play with the kids. From more calm and relaxed games like puzzles and I Spy, to more fun and engaging games like Freeze Dance or Tag, the options are endless. All that matters is that everyone is having fun, so don’t be afraid to get creative and create your own game together!

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